Responding to the news, British Humanist Association (BHA) Chief Executive, Andrew Copson, released a short statement:
‘If there is sound evidence that these individuals, including a Briton, are responsible for the brutal, mindless murders of Avijit and Ananta then they must face trial and justice without delay. Humanists are living in a culture of fear and intimidation in Bangladesh, certain that more lives will be taken simply for expressing a view opposing the Islamists.
‘The Bangladeshi Government must do more to protect all its citizens from brutal fundamentalist thugs who would kill another human being for daring to think outside the confines of dogmatic religion. If it is true that a Briton is responsible, then it is clear that the UK government must also do more to combat any culture of impunity developing here for Islamists operating globally and visiting their violence on the humanist citizens of other states.’
The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) has previously cautioned foreign journalists to be mindful of disinformation coming out of Bangladesh regarding police activity on these killings.
Since killings resumed in February of 2015, the BHA has campaigned for the British Government to play a larger role in opposing the wave of violence targeting humanists in Bangladesh. It is presently looking into the veracity of these most recent reports. The most recent murder, of humanist blogger Niloy Neel, attracted condemnations from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, along with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The BHA will continue to work with IHEU as it investigates the validity of these reports .
For further comment or information, please contact BHA Director of Public Affairs and Campaigns Pavan Dhaliwal at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0773 843 5059.
The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.